Timber

The price of some imported Timber has jumped 23% in just one month in the UK. The price of imported sawn or planed wood jumped by more than a fifth between June and July, according to the latest data provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Source: Construction News UK

The material is now more than 64% more expensive than it was in July 2020.

Imported plywood was nearly 12% more expensive in July than it was in June and up 82% over the past year.

“Both private housing and RM&I need a lot of softwood, and these are the two sectors that, together with infrastructure, have led demand within a resurgent construction industry. At the same time, supply tightened in July, as sawmills and wood production facilities in Sweden and other European countries close for essential summer maintenance,” Timber Trade Federation (TTF) chief executive David Hopkins said.

In June, Hopkins predicted that the third quarter of 2021 would be the most testing period for the Timber industry, partly due to a lack of stock in countries including Sweden, which supply the bulk of UK softwood. Swedish timber stocks remain at their lowest levels in more than 20 years.

Commenting on the latest figures from the BEIS, Hopkins said the price rises were “far outside the bounds of normal levels” he has seen over the past 13 years.

Timber has consistently been one of the materials facing the most severe shortages and price hikes. Last month, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) warned it was among a group of materials including steel, cement, and roofing products that were still being constrained by supply issues.

Overall material prices were up 20.1% higher in July compared with 12 months ago and had jumped 4.5% since June.

The UK has struggled with material shortages since last year, as some production slowed due to lockdowns and manufacturing plants closed. A surge in construction activity earlier in 2021 exacerbated the problem and was compounded by shipping issues that included a blockage on the Suez Canal by a container ship, and the partial closure of a Chinese port last month.

A new survey revealed three in five SMEs say the current materials shortages and inflation are a “significant threat” to their businesses.Social Share

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